Back to school time, apple picking, and making apple pie! The sight of mounds of apples in the stores really gets me in the mood for fall (and cinnamon donuts with apple cider). Why not explore apple theme sensory play with our homemade playdough. Check out this easy apple playdough recipe and activity suggestions below!

Enjoy Hands-on Learning With Apple Playdough

Playdough is an excellent addition to your preschool activities! Even create a busy box from a ball of homemade apple playdough, a small rolling pin, and accessories for building apples.

In addition to this apple playdough activity, add some great hands-on learning with parts of an apple too! Kids can explore apple themes and apple science creatively with homemade play-dough.

You will find everything you need for hands-on learning with apples this fall right here.

Suggestions For Apple Playdough Activities

You will find lots of playdough activities sprinkled throughout to encourage hands-on learning, fine motor skills, and math! Plus, a fun hands-on activity making your own apples from playdough.

Simple Math Activities

  • Turn it into a counting activity and add dice! Roll and place the correct amount of items on the playdough apple!
  • Make it a game and the first one to 20, wins!
  • Add number playdough stamps and pair with the items to practice numbers 1-10 or 1-20.

Fine Motor Practice

  • Add a pair of kid-safe tweezers or tongs for picking up items to decorate apples!
  • Make a sorting activity. Roll out an apple or two or three. Next, mix up the items in a small container. Then, have the kids sort the items by color or size or type to the different apples using the tweezers!
  • Use kid-safe playdough scissors to practice cutting the playdough apples into pieces and make a pie.

STEM Challenges With Apple Playdough

  • Turn playdough apples into a STEM activity for the book Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss! Challenge your kids to roll up 10 apples out of playdough and stack them 10 apples tall! See more ideas for 10 Apples Up On Top here.
  • Challenge the kids to create a small, medium, and large apple and put them in the correct order of size!
  • Add toothpicks and roll up “mini apples” out of the playdough and use them along with the toothpicks to create 2D and 3D shapes!

Learn About The Parts Of An Apple

  • Talk about the parts of an apple with your kids! What do they include? You can talk about the skin, the flesh, the stem, the leaves, and the seeds! How about the core? Check out our suggestions for Apple book pairings!
  • Have your kids make all the parts of an apple with the playdough and accessories!
  • Explore the parts of an apple further with our free apple printable below!

How To Make Apples From Playdough


  • A batch of apple-scented playdough (see recipe below)
  • Apple-shaped cookie cutters
  • Black beans
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Green and red pom-poms, buttons, or Perler/Pony beads
  • Black Perler/Pony beads
  • Mini play dough rolling pin
  • Plastic knife
  • Playdough Scissors
  • Mini pie tins

What To Do:

  1. Roll out the apple playdough you have made with a mini roller or flatten with the palm of your hand.
  2. Use an apple-shaped cookie cutter to cut out apple shapes from the playdough.
  3. Have your child use pom poms, Perler beads or buttons to fill the apples for hours of fun sensory play. Use green pipe cleaners or leaves for the apple stems.

Apple Playdough Recipe

This is a cooked playdough recipe. Go here for our favorite no-cook playdough version.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Green and red food coloring
  • Apple scented oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon spice (optional)


STEP 1:   Add the flour, salt, and cream of tartar to a medium mixing bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

STEP 2:    Add the water and vegetable oil to a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling and then remove from the stove top.

STEP 3:    Add the flour mixture to the hot water and stir continuously until a stiff ball of dough forms.

Remove the dough from the pan and place on your work center. Allow the playdough mixture to cool for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Knead the dough until it is soft and pliable (about 3-4 minutes).  Divide into 3 equal pieces.

How To Make Apple Scented Playdough

If you would like to make apple scented playdough, add about 1/2 teaspoon of apple flavoring to one piece of dough. Add 1/2 teaspoon of green apple flavoring to another piece. Leave the remaining piece, unscented.

Then add a few drops of red food coloring to the apple-scented dough.  Add a few drops of green food coloring to the green apple scented dough.

COLOR MIXING TIP: For less messy hands, place both pieces of playdough in two separate and sealed plastic bags and knead to distribute the color. For the third piece of playdough, you can just knead with your hands because it will remain white in color.

How To Store Playdough

Keep your DIY playdough stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Resealable plastic containers work well and are easy for little hands to open. You can also use zip-top bags.

Easy Playdough Recipes To Make

More Fun Apple Activities

Printable Apple Preschool Pack

Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle!

What’s Included:

There are 4 fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series! Or grab each unit, like the Apple Theme Pack below.

  • My 5 Senses
  • All About Me
  • Science and Scientist
  • Apples

Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost and book suggestions add the learning time.